An Inklings Meeting

"I can see the room so clearly now, the electric fire pumping heat into the dank air, the faded screen that broke some of the keener draughts, the enamel beer-jug on the table, the well-worn sofa and armchairs, and the men drifting in... leaving overcoats and hats in any corner and coming over to warm their hands before finding a chair. There was no fixed etiquette, but the rudimentary honours would be done partly by Lewis and partly by his brother... Sometimes, when the less vital members of the circle were in a big majority the evening would fall flat; but the best of them were as good as anything I shall live to see."

Sprightly Running (John Wain)

It was in this setting that, along with from lively talk about many things, and without an iota of self-consciouness about securing a place in history, Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, C.S.Lewis's The Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce,Charles Williams's All Hallow's Eve, and Warnie Lewis's The Splendid Century were - along with other works by other members - read and discussed. Those of us who did not enjoy the privilege of being there can at least imagine what it must have been like to read one's own work to such a friendly but formidable jury.

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